Tax attorneys assist their clients in navigating tax laws so that they can make the best business or personal financial decisions. Tax attorneys work in law firms and, in some cases, on corporate legal teams.
This page describes the skills and education required to become a tax attorney, including the process, how long it takes, and information on credentials, licensing, and continuing education credits. The page concludes with a list of professional and career resources for aspiring and current tax lawyers.
Which skills are required to become a tax attorney?
Tax attorney OKC must be well-versed in the federal tax code and other tax laws. They must also be knowledgeable about business and financial strategies. Much of this material is covered in law school, particularly for students concentrating on tax and business law. The section that follows discusses additional skills required to practice tax law successfully.
Tax lawyers must be familiar with tax laws in order to properly advise clients on how to take advantage of tax credits, communicate with the internal revenue service (IRS) on their behalf, and practice in tax court. Some tax lawyers specialize in estate planning, advising clients on how to structure wills and trusts to maximize tax advantages.
Law school teaches students how to think like lawyers, synthesize complex laws, and effectively express themselves orally and in writing. Tax attorneys with the following qualifications can expect to excel in their careers:
Accounting and mathematics
Students typically acquire these skills prior to entering law school by taking undergraduate math or accounting classes. Tax attorneys must be well-versed in both.
Despite the complexities of the tax code, attorneys must be able to explain it to their clients in simple, understandable language in order to assist them in making decisions. Attorneys must hone their writing and speaking skills.
Analysis and critical thinking
Attorneys must be able to read statutes and case law, as well as accurately analyze and apply these laws to their clients’ situations.
Because the tax code is constantly changing, attorneys must have strong research skills in order to provide current advice to their clients.
Which education is required to become a tax attorney?
A bachelor’s degree and a JD are required for tax attorneys. The section that follows goes into greater detail about the educational requirements. Obtaining employment as an attorney can be difficult and competitive, and a law degree does not guarantee employment.
Admission to almost all law schools requires a bachelor’s degree
Students interested in becoming tax attorneys should major in accounting, business, or math during their undergraduate studies. Admission to almost all law schools requires a bachelor’s degree. A JD degree programme begins with a general law curriculum that covers torts, contracts, civil procedure, constitutional law, and legal research and writing. Students can take elective courses in their areas of interest during their second and third years.
For aspiring tax lawyers, common classes include an introduction to federal tax, taxation of corporations and shareholders, tax practice and procedure, and international taxation. Some schools offer jds in taxation, but the majority offer JD/LLM joint degrees. Concurrent degree programmes, such as a JD/MBA, are also available to students.